UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan (PIX11) — New York City’s government says it needs input from residents its ongoing efforts to design streets that serve all New Yorkers, the vast majority of whom are pedestrians.
That input, along with research from traffic engineers, as well as experiences and policies from other cities worldwide, results in the city’s street design. It’s collected in a reference guide called the Street Design Manual. The publication, which is hundreds of pages long, documents what changes have been made, as well as changes that need to happen, in the design of the city’s streets, crosswalks, sidewalks, bike lanes, and other street level transportation infrastructure.
Since 2009, the city has produced the manual every four years or so, to help guide policy that affects where New Yorkers walk, ride, or drive.
Now, it’s the subject of an exhibit at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center campus. The curator of the exhibit, Fordham art and graphic design professor Abby Goldstein, said that many of the changes to New York streets over the course of the 13 years that the manual has been produced have gone relatively unheeded by pedestrians. That’s a good thing, she added.
“You don’t want to be paying attention to the design,” Professor Goldstein said in an interview. “You want to be paying attention to where you’re going, how you get there and what you’re doing. Good design does that.”
The exhibit was unveiled in a ceremony at Fordham Lincoln Center on Monday evening, at which the city’s transportation commissioner, Ydanis Rodriguez, spoke.
In a separate interview with PIX11 News, he said that as the city looks to update the manual online and in hard copy, it wants to hear from residents, and that he was encouraging “immigrant and working class” New Yorkers in particular to offer input.
“There’s a voice you have,” he said. “Work with us, come to us with ideas about what is the future of New York City when it comes to transportation.”
The Street Design Manual exhibit is on display at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center campus every day, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.